After some time on the coast, we traveled inland for the duration of our vacation. Rustic and charming, Weasku Inn in Grants Pass served as our ‘home base’ for a couple of days, thus positioning us for some nice day trips.
Two hours or so northeast lies Crater Lake National Park, which was resplendent in some 3 feet of snow (still below average precipitation). Though we didn’t wander far from any of the nicely cleared roads, our scratch-the-surface experience yielded magnificent sights. Narnia itself couldn’t match the splendor.
Packing our snow pants and parkas proved a wise decision, as we donned them for our Crater Lake expedition. The walk from the visitor center to the crater’s rim extended only a couple dozen yards—a misleading fact when combined with attempts at staying upright on the snow.
Have you ever watched dogs try to walk in deep snow? It’s really quite an entertaining show. Our dogs, Scout and Shadow, are mixed breeds with some Husky and Malamute heritage (respectively); as such, they LOVE snow, especially when they’re off-leash. They’ll bound through and wallow in it with great fervor until their thick, furry coats are covered with little snowballs.
The only problems arise when the snow is deeper than a few inches. If they can’t easily jump their way through, they try to walk atop the snow pack. They might be navigating along on the surface just fine and then blammo! they sink down and end up shoulder-high in snow. Occasionally Shadow will then use her girth to tunnel her way through and Scout will follow; Severus says they “travel single file to hide their numbers.” My fellow Star Wars fans can appreciate the humor therein.
At any rate, Severus and I gained full empathy for the dogs when we experienced this phenomenon for ourselves. There were times when we walked along without incident and others when we failed to adequately distribute weight and plunged hip-deep in snow. No manner of snow pants and hiking boots can keep you completely dry when the cold wetness is forced up inside of one’s pantleg.
The moral of the story: Rent the snowshoes next time!
More photos on my share site. CLICK HERE.